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Treatment of Chronic Hypercalcemia

[ Vol. 8 , Issue. 4 ]


Valentina Camozzi, Giovanni Luisetto, Stefano M.M. Basso, Piero Cappelletti, Renato Tozzoli and Franco Lumachi   Pages 556 - 563 ( 8 )


Hypercalcemia is a relatively frequent alteration, mostly associated to primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) and malignancy-associated hypercalcemia (MAH). Treatment first includes rehydration and loop diuretics, as general measures. Bisphosphonates are considered the drugs of choice due to their long-term management. Calcitonin is preferable in the short-term control of severe hypercalcemia. The antireabsorptive action of bisphosphonates has been considered the most effective in the disorders characterized by an excessive bone resorption. Zoledronate is superior to both clodronate or pamidronate in the treatment of MAH. Calcimimetic agents has been recently introduced to control hypercalcemia in selected cases of PHPT. They are used when surgery is not possible or patients do not meet surgical criteria. Malignancy- associate hypercalcemia is broadly divided into two categories: humoral MAH and osteolytic MAH. The first concerns the paraneoplastic release of humoral factors, mainly parathyroid hormone-related peptide (PTHrP). Recently a humanized monoclonal antibody against human PTHrP has been generated and is still under evaluation. The receptor activator of nuclear factor-κ ligand (RANKL) has a critical role in the etiology of malignancy skeletal complications. The fully humanized anti-RANKL antibody (denosumab) would seem to be even more effective than bisphosphonates to suppress bone resorption, as shown in preliminary results .


Hypercalcemia, hyperparathyroidism, bisphosphonates, RANKL, PTHrP, parathyroidectomy, Zoledronate, denosumab, loop diuretics, concomitant natriuretic


Department of Medical & Surgical Sciences, University of Padua, School of Medicine, via Giustiniani 2, 35128 Padova, Italy.

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